Seeing is believing: Recovering Abandoned Resources in a Green Way

Jun 16, 2017

Jingmen,Hubei Province----On June 5th, World Environment Day, UNDP teamed up with Green Manufacturing Co. (GEM) to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of proper recycling of e-wastes. An online live broadcast event exploring how e-waste can be dismantled in an environmental friendly way was broadcasted on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

With the acceleration of economic and technological growth, China has become one of the world’s largest producers and recipients of waste electrical and electronic devices (WEEE). Nevertheless, without proper recycling process most e-waste in China has historically been dismantled and treated in ways that can have a detrimental effect on the environment. For example, in some unregulated factories, e-waste will be burnt on an open fire or processed with chemical solutions to extract valuable metals. This can lead to the release of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other chemicals that cause the significant impacts to human health and the environment.

As part of a joint effort between United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Foreign Economic Cooperation Office Ministry of Environmental (FECO/MEP), with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the ‘environmentally sound management of e-wastes recycling’ project has been working on demonstrating environmentally friendly WEEE recycling, dismantling, treatment disposal processes.

The live broadcast event was carried out at one of the project’s demonstration company sites, GEM. The whole program documented the process of dismantling the waste electronic devices that are commonly seen in people’s daily life, including PCs, refrigerators and televisions, and how sustainable technology allows the reuse of the resources without further pollutant release. The live broadcast showed great success on Weibo, attracting over 140,000 viewers within the first 30 hours of launching the program.

The broadcast showed how online social media platforms can be harnessed to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues, prompting a variety of supportive responses from the public on action to reduce e-waste.

One viewer, “Luo”, commented that “I have many old electronic devices and their batteries set aside at home, such as cell-phone batteries, camera batteries. I dare not to throw them into the trashcans. There are so many types of e-wastes that could not be disposed properly and I would like to know where to send them and make sure they do not pollute the environment in the end”.

Zhang Yuping, vice president of GEM, who served as the “tour guide” during the Live Broadcast, expressed how this kind of programme can help the audience to understand the processes that happen behind the scenes at waste handling plants, presenting scenes in the factory that many viewers would otherwise not be aware of.

“We hope that a wider section of public can begin to understand the damage that inappropriate recycling of e-wastes can lead to,” said Zhang, “We are happy to join UNDP in efforts to promote proper management of e-waste, and hope more of the public can participate in efforts on environment protection, and declare a war against pollution.”

Rewatch the event on QQ and Weibo:

Or check out the full recording below!

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